Menu Download Search
Annual Report 2015 CEO statement Strategic priorities Performance Snapshots Our approach GRI & UNGC

Integrating sustainability

Henrik Sundström, VP Sustainability Affairs, shares key successes and explains how plans for 2016 will drive the sustainability agenda forward.

1. How has sustainability at Electrolux evolved in 2015?

Our sustainability approach has become more tangible in the last year. In 2015 we connected sustainability tighter to the company vision – to be the best appliance company in the world – acknowledging that respect for our global environment and basic human rights are prerequisites for realizing our vision.

We initiated Group programs to support our work in social investment and recycled plastics. We also built ‘For the better’, a communications platform for sustainability that will be unveiled in 2016. Much of this work will not have been noticeable outside the business, but it has laid the foundations for some new and exciting commitments.

We continued to improve supporting systems to measure progress on our promises. The next step is to set targets in all remaining areas of our plan.

2. What were the main highlights of the year?

We have continued to make progress in many areas, but I want to especially highlight improving efficiency of our products and operations. The global green range of our most energy- and water-efficient products accounted for 20% of total units sold and 32% of gross profit for consumer products and we exceeded by three percentage points our 2015 target to reduce energy use by 15%. We have also made headway in our work to emphasize business ethics and respect human rights in our operations and along our supply chain.

There has been a terrific response from our internal teams when we discuss sustainability. Over a number of years, we’ve been working hard on making the business case for sustainability clear and, as a result, our people are enthusiastic and committed.

We’ve also been focusing efforts on our 50% Climate Target. In 2015, we've reached 27%, a little over halfway to the 50%-target.

3. How will you push the agenda further in 2016?

Our role in Sustainability Affairs is to clarify, align and operationalize the sustainability agenda across the whole business. It is based on an understanding of our impacts and knowing where we can make a significant difference.

Our ambition is to take a leadership role in four areas: product efficiency, the use of post-consumer recycled materials, operational efficiency and the safe use of chemicals.

We’re setting new targets for reducing energy in our operations and plan to increase the share of renewable energy. This will begin in the first quarter of 2016, when 13 Electrolux manufacturing sites will only procure electricity from renewable sources.

We are strengthening our commitment and are moving away from the linear management of materials; helping to build the market for recycled materials. We were among the pioneers of using recycled plastics in the manufacture of leading branded products—our GREEN range of vacuum cleaners are produced with 55-70% recycled plastics—and our use of recycled plastics is growing rapidly. In 2015, use increased by 68% compared to 2014.

We also intend to intensify our scrutiny of the human rights impacts of the materials we use. The Electrolux Code of Conduct includes provisions on conflict minerals and in 2016 we will explore how we can further drive transparency throughout our supply chain.


4.What are the challenges and barriers for the future?

Our objective is to phase out hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) in all markets by 2020. However, current regulation – such as in the US – is limiting the implementation of solutions aligned with our climate target.

Partnerships are becoming increasingly important to us. In 2015, we continued to build our strategic partnership with AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-led network, by exploring new ways of working together on social projects. We also launched a partnership with shipping company Maersk Line, committing to help improve sustainability performance in container shipping by 2020.